Carolyn Barber

Carolyn Barber

Carolyn Barber


I'll be headed up to Ithaca College (Ithaca, New York) June 29-July 1 to present a clinic at the Ithaca Conference on Instrumental Music Education: http://www.ithaca.edu/music/cbdna

Ensembleship for the 21st Century Artist-Teacher

Ensembleship is the ability of musicians to function effectively (i.e. creatively and artistically) in groups. For more than a century, wind band conductors have pursued that goal with a relentless focus on individual preparation and connection through convergent thinking. However, it is only since the turn of the 21st century that scholars and scientists have focused their attention in earnest on the psychological and neurological underpinnings of creativity, including the crucial element of divergence. The scientific predisposition against the study of creativity has been mirrored in the development of the American system of music education. As a result, this bias has been firmly embedded in the rehearsal practice of conductor/teachers for generations.

This session will connect contemporary scientific thought to traditional rehearsal practice to build a more effective and ultimately artistic method of developing ensembleship, including rehearsal activities and techniques based on interactive and improvisatory modes of thought common among actors. Material to develop character, define point of view, and enable interaction (as opposed to simple presentation which tends to be the ensemble musician’s default) will be woven into the flow to tip the balance from philosophical to practical. The emphasis for the session will be on how to achieve the shift in values and behaviors that supports ensembleship.